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Minneapolis brewery leaving due to crime eyes new digs in Minnetonka

Its owner said he wanted to move after a shooting outside his establishment in September.

A brewery owner who said he intends to move his business out of North Minneapolis due to neighborhood crime is eyeing a new location in Minnetonka.

The Minnetonka Planning Commission will consider a proposal from Boom Island Brewing to set up shop in a unit of the Baker Technology Plaza, at 5959 Baker Road just off of I-494.

Boom Island is currently found at 2014 Washington Ave. N. in Minneapolis, but its owner Kevin Welch revealed in September that he was looking to move out of the city to somewhere in the western suburbs.

It came after four people were shot just yards away from his brewery on Sept. 7 last year, with one of the victims dying.

Speaking to The Growler at the time, Welch said when he and his wife Qiuxia moved the brewery to Washington Ave. N. in late 2013 they'd hoped that the neighborhood would transform over the years, but instead found the crime that blighted the area has continued.

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He ended up closing his taproom at 9 p.m. every night "just so our customers can get back to their cars and not get shot," adding: "I really want to be here; Minneapolis is great and I love Minneapolis, but I’m not sure it’s possible to keep the brewery here."

He identified the western suburbs of Minnetonka and Plymouth as possible locations, and appears to have settled on the former.

The Planning Commission will consider Boom Island's proposal on Feb. 21, with the brewery intending to open up a taproom with a kitchen area, outdoor patio, production area, bottling line, a private event space, and a fireplace.

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